Getting Around Vienna
The best ways to get around Vienna are on foot and by public transportation. Many historic attractions can be found within the compact Innere Stadt and are easy to reach with just a sturdy pair of walking shoes. But if you are interested in exploring some of the more remote districts, the city's subway, bus and streetcar routes will get you where you need to go. Taxis are abundant as well. There are also several methods of public transportation connecting Vienna to the Vienna International Airport (VIE) – about 12 miles southeast of the city center – including the City Airport Train (which costs 11 euros for a one-way ride).
You can really get a sense for this city by walking. In fact, many of Vienna's historic attractions – including St. Stephen's Cathedral and Hofburg Palace – are just a few paces from one another in the Inner City.
|Bus and Streetcar||
Vienna's convenient and easy-to-use public transit, the Wiener Linien, is great for exploring the outer limits. Bus and streetcar (strassenbahnen) routes snake throughout the city. You can transfer between modes using the same ticket, which are available at every stop. Single rides cost 2.20 euros or you can purchase a one-, three- or eight-day unlimited pass (prices range from around 7 to 40 euros, depending on the length of validity). Your Vienna Card can also be used on public transport. Should you happen to miss the last streetcar or bus, you can hop on special night buses (marked with the letter "N"), which operate fairly frequently along designated routes.
|U-Bahn and S-Bahn||
The Wiener Linien also operates a subway system (the U-Bahn), which services the city and a speedy light-rail system (the Schnellbahn or S-Bahn) that services the suburbs. Fares and transfers are the same for the U-Bahn and S-Bahn as they are for the buses and streetcars, and you can use the same tickets on all forms of public transportation.
Taxis are easy to find in Vienna, but you should only use them when you really need to because rates add up quickly. Agree on a fare before getting into the cab, otherwise you could be overcharged. It's also a good idea to ask your concierge what the going rate is to and from various sites. Vienna is also home to ride-sharing services like Uber.
Like many European cities, Vienna is very bike-friendly, boasting more than 150 miles of marked bicycle paths. In fact, many Viennese forgo their cars in favor of bicycles. You are also allowed to carry bikes on public transportation for free. You'll find plenty of rental agencies around Prater and along the Danube Canal, and rates begin at around 40 euros per day.
Those of you who opt for your own set of wheels will soon discover why many Viennese hardly use their cars: Vienna's streets are narrow and difficult to navigate, while traffic in the city center can be a nightmare. Also, unless you buy a parking ticket – which you can purchase at most newsstands and tobacco shops – you will not be able to park anywhere in the central neighborhoods. If you're planning a scenic country drive, consider waiting to rent a car until you're ready to leave Vienna; that way, you can avoid having to park in the city.
Rental agencies can be found at the airport, but you'll have to pay an extra 6 percent surcharge on top of an already steep 21 percent tax on all rentals. Rates are cheaper in town. To rent a car you will need to present a passport as well as a driver's license that is at least a year old.
Entry & Exit Requirements
U.S. citizens can enter the country for up to 90 days without a visa. If you plan to stay longer, you must obtain the proper visa from the Austrian Embassy prior to departure. You will need a passport that is valid for at least six months after your return, however. For more information concerning entry and exit requirements for Austria, visit the U.S. State Department's website.
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